Assessment of essential oils
Question for written answer E-002330/2022
to the Commission
Aldo Patriciello (PPE), Salvatore De Meo (PPE), Herbert Dorfmann (PPE), Massimiliano Salini (PPE), Fulvio Martusciello (PPE), Isabella Adinolfi (PPE), Lucia Vuolo (PPE), Andrea Caroppo (PPE)
Essential oils are 100% natural plant or fruit extracts derived through distillation or by squeezing the outer shell of the fruit. They are classified as complex natural substances.
In the context of the revision of the CLP Regulation, the Commission intends for the hazardousness of these substances to be determined on the basis of their components, without assessing the substance as a whole.
Owing to its natural origin, an essential oil consists of components that cannot be eliminated, as might be possible with, for example, a synthetic blend.
Recent scientific data shows that the effects of an essential oil, assessed as a whole, differ markedly from the sum effects of its individual components.
The safety of an essential oil therefore needs to be assessed on the basis of the essential oil as a whole, in order for regulatory measures to be proportionate.
In view of this, can the Commission say whether it would be possible to analyse essential oils in their entirety when assessing hazards, rather than viewing them as a mere blend of their parts?